Patient Stories

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Our Head and Neck Cancer Program helps you start on the road to recovery. For more information, connect with a cancer care specialist at 310-774-6275​​​​​​​.

Sharon's Facial Tumor Story

Sharon Haber was shocked when a lump on her face turned out to be cancer. The tumor was large, overwhelming the parotid gland and extending to both sides of the facial nerve. It was essential to remove the growth, but there was a very real possibility that to do so would require cutting the facial nerve. And cutting the facial nerve would mean “that the whole side of my face would be paralyzed,” Sharon said. Understandably, Sharon was anxious and worried. She sought help from Maie St. John, MD, PhD, of UCLA’s Head and Neck Program, whose gentle approach and hopeful prognosis helped when Sharon needed it most. “Even though she was telling me [my diagnosis], and it was all very scary,” Sharon said of Dr. St. John, “she looked at me with such warm and caring…that I knew Dr. St. John would do everything she could.”

Robotic Oral Cancer Surgery at UCLA

Maie St. John, MD, PhD

Maie St. John, MD, PhD

Walking into meet the cancer surgeons that would potentially perform a very tricky surgery could be a very intimidating thing, but within a few minutes I realized this experience would be very different. The team not only put me at ease with their immense knowledge, but within minutes I felt like they were treating me as a dear friend vs a random patient. The team was one of the most kind, compassionate and competent groups I’ve ever had the pleasure of dealing with.

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Throat Cancer Surgery at UCLA

Paul Stevie Hendrix

I’ve maybe been taking advantage of great health. Living a bit of a health charmed life. After all, I had just completed a wilderness motorcycle adventure ride through the remote Grand Canyon. This was to launch my new streaming tv travel series I named “Riding Remote...And Alone”. But when my neck suddenly swelled up to the size of a baseball I knew something bad was happening inside of me. Little did I know I was about to face anybody’s worst moment. I was in fact being told...I had throat cancer. Looking back now, I wouldn’t have wanted to experience that news any other way then with Dr. Maie St. John. Sitting in her office she delivered the diagnosis with equal parts calm, confidence and a dignity that reflected her deep sense of caring for me.

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HPV p16 Throat Cancer Surgery at UCLA

Lawrence Fine

Hi, my name is Lawrence Fine, I am here to talk to you about why I chose a special surgeon, Dr. Maie St John, at UCLA Head and Neck cancer surgery. Dr Maie St John is a head and neck surgeon who has a resume above and beyond Doctors in her field; google her. What was important to me and should be to you is that she is Board Certified in Otolaryngology-Head and Neck and is very experienced in head and neck cancer treatments.  I wanted a Doctor that has great expertise in the treatment of throat and tonsil cancer. Robotic surgery of the head and neck and robotic throat cancer surgery is her expertise. This type of surgery requires special training to make sure you have excellent outcomes.

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